Sandals Grenada Team Member Samantha Bartholomew enjoys giving back, and when the Sandals Foundation presented the opportunity to give back to her community in a meaningful way, she seized it.
The prudent mother of one was the winning candidate of the Sandals Foundation Team Member Support Project (TMSP), an initiative to support Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members across the region in implementing projects that will inspire hope in their communities.
“When the call to propose projects for the Team Member Support Programme came up, I sent in two project proposals,” an elated Bartholomew said. “I submitted one to help a church and another for the Good Hope Swimming Pool. I didn’t know if either would get selected, but I thought it was such a good opportunity that I couldn’t let it slip away. The great thing about this is that Sandals Foundation makes it so easy for us to have a leading voice to say, ‘this is where we need to direct resources to help our community’ – and voila, the Good Hope Project was selected!”
Each year through the TMSP, the Sandals Foundation encourages Sandals Resorts’ team members to identify small projects within their communities that they believe are in need of assistance and will be beneficial to community members. Bartholomew’s proposal outlined a need for upgrades to the bathroom facility at the Good Hope Swimming Pool which benefits approximately 2,000 people annually.
“At the time of the proposal, there was one barely functioning toilet on site. When the call for projects was opened this was one of the first matters that came to mind. Not only was this a major inconvenience, but more importantly this posed a major health risk to users of the facility,” Bartholomew said.
The Good Hope Swimming Pool is the island’s only designated venue for national and regional swimming competitions and a space for youths to learn swimming. President of the Grenada Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), Peron Johnson said, “The facility serves 25 schools in St George and 10 schools outside of St George as well as 6 swimming clubs; thus making the estimated annual number of users of the pool roughly 2,600 swimmers.”
Upgrades undertaken included the addition of concrete walls to separate the lavatory area and food service area, construction of three toilet stalls, tiling and the installation of toilets and doors.
However, according to Bartholomew, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, “There were some structural weak points that needed additional work, dilapidated walls and worn out floors in the locker room. The project budget wouldn’t have covered this but we made a case to the resort, and thankfully we got that additional support.”
“Our team members across the Caribbean play an integral role in everything that we are able to do,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “The basis of the TMSP is to provide the financial backing and support to empower them to do something meaningful in their own communities.”
Peron Johnson, President of GASA, extended high commendations to the Sandals Foundation and Bartholomew, “Thank you, Samantha, for connecting GASA to the Sandals Foundation for this important project. Once again to the Sandals Foundation, your support came just in time, and we are so grateful. Thank you for helping to improve our sense of pride in this facility that is now safer, more hygienic and pleasant for all its users.”
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